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Ageing and Dementias

Adventures in Eldercare June 2011

This month we have a guest author. Mr. Phillip Poss is the General Manager of Victoria Eldercare. Mr. Poss regularly attends seminars regarding aging and dementias. In this column he will be discussing some of the latest developments in this field.

I would like to thank Dr. Veltri for the opportunity to share this important information. I attended a seminar in Hamilton last week titled, “A Changing Melody”, which had four different presenters, discussing facts, ideas, and routines for people with dementia.

Throughout the seminar, one point was very clear – Keep positive! Of course, a person who does not currently experience the symptoms of dementia may talk about keeping positive at all times, but when a person who is actually dealing personally with dementia speaks out and portrays this message, it really inspire you. Brenda Hounam, a spokesperson and advocate, spoke about her life, since being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in April 2000. Instead of sitting back and letting the disease control her and her family’s lives, she began educating herself and speaking about what she was going through, trying to help as many people as she could to understand the struggles and successes they may encounter. One thing Brenda emphasized is how she realized that “bad days” inevitably happen, but instead of trying to battle through the day with complete frustration, she would reduce her activity drastically and take a day or two to completely rest. In this way she would be refreshed and ready to go again, this is very important to Brenda and has helped the “better days” to flow much easier.

Brenda has helped develop the “By Us for Us” guides for people with dementia. These guides help people who deal with dementia and their families understand the disease from the point of view of people who actually do have dementia. These guides can be ordered through our office.

The other speaker I would like to mention is Joanne Does. Joanne has researched the healing power of music, employing song and rhythm with persons living with dementia.

Being the last speaker of the day, Joanne had the whole audience up from their chairs performing beats on the table, singing, dancing and laughing. Some songs being recognizable and others she had written herself from the heart while she assisted with her mom’s dementia. Between singing, dancing, and laughing, Joanne gave four simple suggestions to increase laughter in your life.

1. Watch funny movies or shows at least twice a week.

2. Rent DVDs of a comedian and watch with friends.

3. Play and be silly with small children. (Everything is fun with children).

4. Play games like Charades and Pictionary so you can laugh at yourself.

To conclude, the seminar’s core message is keep positive and enjoy laughter in all situations and to try to remember, even on the dark days, that there is information and help out there!

Please contact our office for the complete speeches of these amazing women and to hear about upcoming seminars.

Dr. Bruce Veltri operates Victoria Eldercare, a non-medical home-care agency matching exceptional care-givers with elderly seniors, to help them maintain independence and remain safely in their own home. Victoria Eldercare can be contacted by phone, 519-429-2644 or the web-site,

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